Re: Extension and media type and RDDL and document types
Rick Jelliffe wrote: <snip/> > So the primary utility of a document type should be during > creation and maintenance phases, especially when starting > a document type from scratch. During this phase, the issue then > becomes how can we provide enough resources so that desktop tools > can be configured? They need to get the house-style versions > of schemas and stylesheets, templates documents which > provide typical cases, and vendor-specific code, to allow > vendors, philanthropists and experimenters. > > I think only DZIP goes anywhere near addressing these considerations, > so far, supporting RDDL, CATALOGs, vendor-specific code, templates, > stylesheets. > > We need to move beyond document types to distributable, extensible!, identifiable > (and, sure, web-locatable), system-integrator-friendly "XML Applications". I agree -- somewhat. I think the Java world serves as a good analogy. You can drop a JAR on the classpath, and all the contained classes are immediately available to the application. You can also load classes from a URL (though ideally this should only be used for initial discovery -- once found the resources should be downloaded and accessed on demand from the local filesystem). XARs and RDDL are complementary, here. I think, though, this is a use case that points up a weakness of RDDL -- and XARs without something like RDDL are even weaker. Taking RDDL and just stepping up to extended links strikes me as just what the doctor ordered for XARs. Using such a format, a XAR can contain resources and associate them with an arbitrary number of namespaces, doctypes, or whatever. What I'd like to see: a single file to look for (not check for index.html, then index.htm, then default.html, then default.htm, etc.) -- similar to a JAR manifest -- that helps me locate all of the other resources in the XAR and tells me their nature and purpose (and what -- if any -- URIs they are associate with). I don't see how XAR achieves this objective without using extended links or something equivalent. And regarding that "something equivalent" comment, I would say that XLink syntax is the right way to go -- not RDF. Ultimately, the format should have some faint hope of getting mainstream adoption, and that is best achieved by building in an iterative, evolutionary fashion upon concepts with which the average web deveoper is already familiar. Every web developer understands hyperlinking at some level. Almost every web developer has completely ignored RDF, and using RDF pretty much kills hopes of mainstream adoption. Why not have an index.xml or index.xhtml in each XAR that adopts RDDL conventions, but using extended rather than simple links? The same syntax for the extended link could also be used in linkbases, enabling applications to permit the user to associate additional resources with a namespace or doctype without having to package a XAR or put RDDL on a website.
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